I think I first felt the euphoria of actually having money back when I was 23, a fresh newbie straight out of college finally earning her first real paycheck. Most of us scrape by college fueling ourselves on Ramen noodles and cheap vodka, all the while shopping for new clothes in our roommates’ closets, so having extra spending money in my bank account was an entirely new (and oh-so-wonderful) feeling. I can remember going to the movies with my friends one night in those early phases and buying an Icee without worrying about how much it cost. The liberation! The freedom! It felt amazing to be able to do that. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long. I began to realize that I didn’t have as much money at the end of the month as my income should have allowed, and I had no idea how that happened. Thus, my first real, “grown-up” budget was formed.